The ten red clay courts at 96th Street in Riverside Park are public tennis courts under the jurisdiction of The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. The Courts are open for play daily from mid-April until early December. Admission requires a seasonal NYC Tennis Permit
, which may be purchased at the Arsenal in Central Park
, 830 5th Avenue at 64th Street, (in front of the Central Park Zoo), and from Paragon Sport Sporting Goods, Broadway and 18th Street. Permits cost $10 for Juniors (under 17.) Single play tickets (day permit) are also an option and may be purchased for $7 at the court entrance. Play is limited to one hour of court time for singles players and two hours for doubles. For more information about season permits call 212.360.8131 Courts are assigned on a first come/first served basis. There are no reservations or advance sign-ups. Tennis shoes must be worn at all times to protect the surface. Riverside teaching pro Froi Silva has been giving lessons at these courts since 1987. Originally from Bolivia, where he coached top amateur and professional players, he offers both group clinics and private instruction. His rates are $48/hour or $27/half-hour. Group rates are much cheaper, and some children's clinics are free. To book a lesson, call Froi at 646.528.3683. Riverside also offers extensive programs for children, including tournaments, group clinics, and ladders (a kind of league). For more information about the children's program, call Mark at 212.870.3078. Membership in the Riverside Clay Tennis Association is $25 a year. It is not required to play at the courts, but it contributes directly to the maintenance of the Courts - a worthy cause.